Baby Loup affair pushes question of religion at workplace into centre

October 22, 2013

The Baby Loup affair surrounding the question of wearing religious symbols in general and the hijab in particular in a nursery returned to the media when the French Court of Appeal opposed the Supreme Court’s decision on calling the termination of a French Muslim woman’s work contract in a nursery unlawful. The legal battle will most likely continue and will bring the question of religion at workplace to the forefront of the debate.
Le Monde:

http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2013/10/22/l-entreprise-n-echappe-pas-a-la-politisation-du-religieux_3500730_3232.html?xtmc=musulman&xtcr=11

http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2013/10/16/affaire-baby-loup-la-cour-d-appel-de-paris-entre-en-rebellion-contre-la-cour-de-cassation_3496539_3224.html

Judge allows Muslim woman to wear niqab in London court

A Muslim woman has been allowed to make a plea in court while wearing a face-covering niqab after a judge agreed a compromise in which she was identified in private by a female police officer who then attested to her identity. The judge in the case at Blackfriars crown court in London then heard arguments as to whether the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, should be allowed to wear the niqab, which leaves only her eyes showing, during her full trial. Judge Peter Murphy will give that decision on Monday.

 

The judge allowed her to plead not guilty in the dock wearing the niqab after a female police officer who saw the defendant’s face when her custody photograph was taken witnessed her with the veil removed in a private room. The officer then swore on oath that the correct person was in court. The woman’s barrister, Susan Meek, said she was entitled to wear the niqab under the section of the European convention on human rights relating to religious beliefs.

“She is entitled to wear it in private and in public,” Meek said. “That right to wear the niqab also extends to the courtroom. There is no legislation in the UK in respect of the wearing of the niqab. There is no law in this country banning it.”

 

The court heard details from a similar case which reached Canada’s Supreme Court last year after a judge ruled that a woman should remove her niqab when testifying in a sexual assault case so jurors could properly gauge her credibility as a witness. The Supreme Court eventually ruled such decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis. Meek argued that a jury would be able to assess the defendant from her answers and body language. She said: “Ultimately it’s the choice of the defendant if she wishes to wear it.

Catalonia admits that the regulation of the burqa causes alarm in Muslim groups

22 August 2013

The General Director of Religious Affairs of the Generalitat, Enric Vendrell, admitted that the regulation of the burqa in public spaces has generated “alarm” in the Muslim community living in Catalonia. Vendrell promises dialogue and mediation to approach this question and recognizes that the use of the burqa is residual in Catalonia. He also highlighted that in Catalonia there are “no problems of coexistence between citizens on religious grounds”.

The law (first issued by the city of Lleida) implements ban of the burqa in public space and a fee of 600 euros for the ones infringing the prohibition. After several appeals, the Spanish Supreme Court stated on the basis of the religious Freedom Law that the ban was not valid. However, now, the Catalonian Parlament has asked the Generalitat (Autonomous Government) to consider a new law prohibiting the cover of the face in public spaces due to security reasons.

The Five Craziest Reactions To The Marriage Equality Rulings

Though the strong majorities of Americans who support marriage equality and equal federal benefits for gay couples celebrated today’s historic Supreme Court rulings, several prominent conservatives reacted with fear and fury. Though the conservative establishment (by in large) had little to say about the marriage equality cases, the vitriol that came from these particular conservatives stood out:

 

Rand Paul and Glenn Beck worry about Muslims and animals: In a video captured by Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, the purportedly libertarian Senator and popular talk show host worry about a host of bizarre “logical” consequences of the moves toward marriage equality, with Beck asking “who are you to say that, if I’m a devout Muslim, I come over here and I have three wives, who are you to say if I’m an American citizen that I can’t have multiple wives?” Paul nodded, saying “people take it to one extension further — does it have to be humans?…I’m kinda with you…we should not just say ‘oh, we’re punting on it, marriage can be anything.”

 

The list goes on and on while Another fiery reaction — outgoing Rep. Michele Bachmann’s declaration that “no man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted” — didn’t have quite the intended impact. “Who cares?” responded House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), when asked for comment on Bachmann’s outburst.

 

The Supreme Court rejects the burqa ban of Lleida’s municipality

10 May 2013

 

The Supreme Court has rejected the motion presented by  the city of Lleida to ban the burqa in public buildings. The council delegation had declared last March 22,  their intention to go to the Supreme Court, as in their point of view, the banning of the burqa aims to preserve the equality between men and women and to defend the dignity of women, of law obedience, of beliefs, and of religious freedom.

The Supreme Court on the other hand stated that “the burqa ban is a limitation on the exercise of religious freedom.”

Abu Qatada could face prosecution in UK, says Theresa May

In this piece The Guardian the home secretary, Theresa May, has said police are examining evidence seized over the recent arrest of Islamic cleric Abu Qatada to see if he can be prosecuted in UK courts. Judges at the court of appeal have repeatedly blocked the preacher’s deportation, amid fears he would face an unfair trial based on evidence obtained by torture in his native Jordan. On Thursday she refused to set a timetable on when he would be deported. May has negotiated with the Jordanian authorities to secure assurances about the evidence that would be used in his trial. She is due to launch a UK Supreme Court appeal against her latest rebuff.

 

How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs

WASHINGTON — One morning in late September 2011, a group of American drones took off from an airstrip the C.I.A. had built in the remote southern expanse of Saudi Arabia. The drones crossed the border into Yemen, and were soon hovering over a group of trucks clustered in a desert patch of Jawf Province, a region of the impoverished country once renowned for breeding Arabian horses. Then, on Oct. 14, a missile apparently intended for an Egyptian Qaeda operative, Ibrahim al-Banna, hit a modest outdoor eating place in Shabwa. The intelligence was bad: Mr. Banna was not there, and among about a dozen men killed was the young Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who had no connection to terrorism and would never have been deliberately targeted.

It was a tragic error and, for the Obama administration, a public relations disaster, further muddying the moral clarity of the previous strike on his father and fueling skepticism about American assertions of drones’ surgical precision. The damage was only compounded when anonymous officials at first gave the younger Mr. Awlaki’s age as 21, prompting his grieving family to make public his birth certificate.

He had been born in Denver, said the certificate from the Colorado health department. In the United States, at the time his government’s missile killed him, the teenager would have just reached driving age.

And while the Constitution generally requires judicial process before the government may kill an American, the Supreme Court has held that in some contexts — like when the police, in order to protect innocent bystanders, ram a car to stop a high-speed chase — no prior permission from a judge is necessary; the lawyers concluded that the wartime threat posed by Mr. Awlaki qualified as such a context, and so his constitutional rights did not bar the government from killing him without a trial.

 

Declaration of the Tatary Riay about the burqa

28 February 2013

The president of the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE) Tatary Riay told Efe, that in his opinion it is not necessary to prohibit the use of these garments because that way “it scares people” and encourages an “hostile “posture toward Muslim women.
Therefore he was satisfied with the Supreme Court decision stating that the mission of his Institution is also to promote the integration of Muslim women within and outside the Muslim community.

 

Spain: Supreme Court invalidates the ban on the burqa

The Supreme Court has declared invalid the ban on women wearing the burqa or veil in public spaces, which had been decreed by the  Lleida City Council in October 2010.
The Supreme Court held that the measure “violates Article 16 of the Constitution”, which guarantees the right to religious freedom, and believes that “the burqa ban is a limitation on the exercise of religious freedom. ”
It is the first time that the Supreme Court is ruling on the prohibition of the burqa.

In declarations, the mayor of Lleida, Angel Ros, said that they would follow the decision of the Supreme although they did not share it. “The symbolism of the Islamic veil is an inequality between men and women,” he said.